‘Below Deck’ Ratings Continue to Climb

Below Deck began the season with tepid ratings, but viewership numbers appear to be getting as hot as the Thailand climate. The latest episode just received the highest ratings this season as tension continues to build on the series.

The season saw an initial spark when deckhand Abbi Murphy left and a new deckhand would be taking her place. Captain Lee Rosbach teased that bosun Ashton Pienaar already knew the deckhand, which prompted fans to start taking bets. Many hoped for the return of Ross Inia from season 6 or even Eddie Lucas from early in the series.

Captain Lee Rosbach, Kate Chastain
Captain Lee Rosbach, Kate Chastain |Karolina Wojtasik/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

But Rhylee Gerber was revealed as the new deckhand, which injected a significant amount of fire and controversy into the show. But the latest episode drilled into the crew mutiny against chief stew Kate Chastain. By the end of the show, Chastain was left in tears.

The drama is there but where are the viewers?

Until recently, viewership wasn’t as strong as seen in previous seasons. Season 7 had all the ingredients for an extremely hot season, but ratings lagged. In addition to the return of Captain Lee Rosbach and Chastain, season 7 introduced attractive crew members and a combative chef. The season also featured some of the craziest guests to date.

However, early ratings did not match the sizzle Bravo promised from the show. From out the gate, viewers were cool to the series. The season 7 opener debuted at a lower spot than Below Deck season 6. Plus, ratings remained unsteady, briefly spiking, but then dropping.

But by mid-October, Below Deck began slowly gaining its footing.  “Bravo’s BELOW DECK gained 0.05 to 0.50,” according to Showbuzz Daily

Ratings are on the move

Perhaps the announcement of a new deckhand shook up the ratings as season 7 experienced a season-high for the first time. “#BelowDeckS07E07 – 1.546 million viewers (0.56 18-49 demo) *season high*,” Bravo Ratings tweeted on November 19.

But following the new deckhand announcement, ratings cooled a bit. However, the ratings quickly rebounded. On December 4, Bravo Ratings tweeted, “#BelowDeck S07E09 – 1.663 million viewers (0.58 18-49 demo) *season high*.” Now the show seems to be on an upward trajectory as season 7 ratings are consistently high. “#BelowDeck S07E10 – 1.688 million viewers (0.61 18-49 demo) *season high*,” according to Bravo Ratings.

Some fans credit Rosbach and Chastain for keeping viewers engaged. The latest high came when Chastain was brought to tears after deckhand Brian de Saint Pern called her a bitch. Chastain was filmed throwing crew uniforms on the floor while sitting in the crew mess. Bosun Ashton Pienaar gets heated when he sees her flinging the garments.

Others think the turning point was when Gerber was re-introduced to the show. “This has been on the rise since @rhylee_gerber joined,” a person responded to the Bravo Ratings tweet. Gerber too joked about how she brings the excitement. “Episode where they announce my return/season high ratings…Coincidence??? I think not!! #yourewelcome @51Minds @BravoTV,” she tweeted after she was announced as the new deckhand. With previews of Chastain walking off the boat and more drama, a continued ratings climb looks promising for the season.